The 10 Best TV Ads of 2004

campaignlive.co.uk, Wednesday, 22 December 2004 08:00AM

1 Honda Diesel 'grrr' - This spot kicks 'cog' in its shiny metal arse. Rabbits, rainbows and flowers lead the revolution against dirty, noisy diesel engines in a cheery world of happy primary colours. Sheer animated bliss.

Agency: Wieden & Kennedy. Writers/art directors: Sean Thompson, Michael Russoff, Richard Russell. Directors: Smith & Foulkes. Production company: Nexus Productions. Media planning: Naked Communications. Media buying: Starcom Motive

2 Stella Artois "pilot"

Stella Artois pays homage to the flying aces of the First World War. The black-and-white film is packed with suspense and detail, and comes up with a cheeky bit of Frenchie-bashing at the end.

Agency: Lowe, Writers: Vince Squibb, Jason Lawes, Sam Cartmell. Art directors: Vince Squibb, Jason Lawes, Sam Cartmell. Director: Ivan Zacharias. Production company: Stink. Media agency: Starcom Motive

3 Levi's "bike"

A sultry and intriguing portrayal of inner-city living: unbeatable dialogue and understated acting create an off-beat spot in a strong campaign. One of the flirtiest ads of all time.

Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty. Writer: Toby Allen. Art director: Jim Hilson. Director: Nick Gordon. Production company: Academy. Media agency: Starcom Motive

4 FCUK "denim range"

Trevor Beattie, TBWA's creative director, said it was the first time in the history of advertising that a company had "dared not speak its name". Denim-clad youths take a road trip across a desert but the ad doesn't name the company. Very FCUK.

Agency: TBWA\London. Writer: Trevor Beattie. Art director: Bil Bungay. Director: Bil Bungay. Production company: RSA. Media agency: Manning Gottlieb OMD

5 HSBC "okey doke"

"The world's local bank" campaign has matured with age. A cool young hunk motors through South America to the soundtrack of Hendrix's Ezy Rider, while managing to offend the colourful, vest-clad locals with his ignorant attempts to communicate.

Agency: Lowe Worldwide. Writer: Vince Squibb. Art director: Vince Squibb. Director: Chris Palmer. Production company: Georgeous Enterprises. Media agencies: PHD in UK, ZenithOptimedia worldwide.

6 NSPCC "ventiloquist"

This ad for the chilling "someone to turn to" campaign drives its message home by the device of a ventriloquist's dummy. The little girl, we realise, is unable to speak for herself because she is under the control of her abuser.

Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi. Writer: Leo Premutico. Art director: Ian Jacobs. Directors: Danny Kleinman, Mary Marsh. Production company: Large Corp. Media agency: ZenithOptimedia

7 Lynx "getting dressed"

A sexy young couple retrace their steps through city streets, picking up their clothes where they dropped them, in this Cannes gold-winning spot from Bartle Bogle Hegarty.

Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty. Writer: Nick Gill. Art director: Nick Gill. Director: Ringan Ledwidge. Production company: Small Family Business, London. Media agency: Initiative Media

8 Department of Health "anti-smoking testimonial"

No matter how many times you see it, this ad always gets to you. Its powerful twist -- that Mr Hicks died two weeks after filming and never saw his daughter again -- gets right to the heart of the issue.

Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO. Writer: Dianne Leaver. Art director: Simon Rice. Director: Dominic Savage. Production company: Large. Media planning: PHD. Media buying: COI Communications

9 Travelocity "Hello Whicker"

With his distinctive blazer, glasses and voice, the dry-witted Alan Whicker remains a likeable spokesman for Travelocity, with this endearing self-parody.

Agency: Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy. Writer: Ben Tollett. Art director: Emer Stamp. Director: Blue Source. Production company: Blink Productions. Media agency: Klondike

10 Smirnoff "diamond"

A man chokes to death on a cracker while watching TV and his friend has his corpse converted into a diamond, all accompanied by Beethoven's fifth symphony.

Agency: J Walter Thompson. Writer: Jonathan Budds. Art director: Anita Davis. Director: Traktor. Production company: Partizan. Media agency: Carat

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This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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